But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God?
Dorothy was a young girl desperately trying to get back to her home in Kansas. She began a long and arduous journey to meet the Wizard of Oz, believing he would know the answer to her problems. But when she arrived, the Wizard gave her impossible tasks to accomplish, and she was frustrated. The Wizard refused to answer her questions, booming his reply: “Do not arouse the wrath of the great and powerful Oz!”
Sometimes we may feel like Dorothy, wanting answers to life’s complex questions and frustrated by God’s power and seeming silence. Romans 9 makes it clear that humans have been given the capacity to question our Maker. But the apostle Paul also urges us to put those questions in a proper perspective. He compares us to clay that has been shaped by a potter (v. 21). God has the right to do what He wants with us. Who are we to question Him? He will do with us what He sees fit. And we can trust His love and sovereignty.
The passage describes the direction of purpose in our relationship with our Creator. First, God chose us and has a plan for us (v. 22). He is patient when we disobey, and, despite our actions, He has rescued us from destruction. Some of His choices are made in order to prepare us for eternity (v. 24). We are chosen, we are redeemed, and we are loved.
Men and women throughout Scripture asked God difficult questions. Job asked God why he suffered. Jonah wanted to know why he should go to Nineveh. Sarah wondered how she could bear a child at her advanced age. While we must acknowledge that God can and will carry out His will for His creation (v. 28), He also made each of us capable of asking hard questions and desiring answers.
Apply the Word
What questions do you have for God? In the psalms, we read David’s questions that became prayers to the Almighty. Today, give your questions to God in prayer. You can also discuss those difficult questions with your pastor, Bible study leader, or even submit them to our Q&A column in Today in the Word. No question is too difficult for God.